"Back in 2008, a lot of people thought higher (sales) numbers were achievable within 10 years," Michael Holman, a research director at Lux Research, told Design News. "But that's an area where people have come around to more realistic views. They're realizing that it might take a longer time, coupled with some fundamental scientific breakthroughs, before the battery costs get down to the level that's needed."
To be sure, the forecast isn't grim for all electrified vehicles. Plug-in hybrids, particularly those with smaller batteries, seem to have a better near-term outlook. By 2020, Lux Research predicts the auto industry will hit annual sales of 600,000 "light" plug-in hybrids (like the Prius PHV) and 150,000 "heavy" plug-ins (like the Volt). In contrast, Lux says sales of pure electrics will reach just 60,000 per year by 2020.
It's worth repeating that battery size plays a big role in those numbers. The Prius PHV, for example, employs a 4.4kWh lithium-ion battery (hence the higher sales forecast), while the Volt uses a 16kWh pack, the Leaf employs a 24kWh unit, and the Tesla Model S can reach as high as 85kWh. The bottom line is that the vehicles with massive battery packs generally have lower sales expectations.
None of this should be a surprise, of course. Bigger battery packs cost a lot more. And despite the ever-present hype around electric cars, consumers will usually reach for the more cost-effective solution first. "The economics of battery-electric cars don't make a lot of sense right now," Holman told us. "With hybrids -- even micro-hybrids -- you can get similar benefits in terms of reduced gasoline cost for a lot less money."
Charles, adn anyone else who feels the same, to you I owe an apology.
I'm not playing a game. I find that AGW adopters always do the same thing, they talk about the importance theory, but don't act as if it is real.
If AGW theory is correct, if the world is without question being affected by CO2, why is the original piece we are discussing not finished off with a sentence to the effect of "But as we know, CO2 is terrible, batteries are our only hope, so we should pay what every it costs or we are killing the world"
Do yiou see what i mean ? Yoiu can evangelise about AGW theory, anybody can evangelise about anything and use broad, quanititatively weak arguments about a 'body of science', but what matters is do the people who preach practice what they preach enough to put trivial matters like cost behind us. Because that is what is required here, isn't it ?
If your country were about to be invaded would you declare defeat based on the grounds that yoiu couldn't afford to fight the war ? Of course not.
Instead of evangelising, simply answering my question would suffice, it isn't a game, I just want to know, what one piece of evidence tipped your balance into become an AGW evangelist from the position of scepticism
1 a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions.
It's no game, it's a question, as if yoiu were sat next to me on the bus. Surely something took yiou from the position of doubt to the position of acceptance. What was that one thing ?
You see, I'm in a difficult position. I'm building my own EV. Environmentalists love me, but I don't agree with what they say regarding AGW. that upsets them. Engineers like me for having a go for myself, but many of them call me an environmentalist.
I don't care what I'm called, except maybe being called 'piggish' because lets be honest, nobody here has met me or knows how I live so calling me piggish for doing for myself as an engineer, in an intelligent way as a member of Mensa, really is playing the sucker game of all sucker games.
If AGW is so important to you why aren't you saying 'Buy the batteries whatever their cost, they're always better than buying gas because they will save the planet' then I might be tempted to give the AGW theory more attention today. I studied all the data for years and it was all conjecture so why should I go back to that ?
Not to mention that if the CO2 coming from cars is such a problem, why do we not just pull off the CO2 generating catalytic convertors and accept the carbon monoxide instead (with relevant restrictions on car use to prevent the smogs) because if AGW theory is such a certain thing, every little will help, and we cannot be so stupid as to say "We will only save the planet if the solution to doing so is both cheap and convenient"
You see, the one thing giving me the biggest doubt that AGW theory is actually AGW fact, is that it is still being analysed as a cost based aspect. The reason mercury cannot be dumped carelessly is because it is harmful to the environment and to us. Likewise, for so many other pollutants.
But, those pollutants can only kill us, they aren't likely to destroy all life, cause floods and plagues....but AGW, so I am told, can do that.
So why then, are we still allowed to discharge CO2 into the environment ? That stuff, apparently , is going to ruin the planet permanently....so why let it out ?
Strange, isn't it, don't you think ? That something which is harmful regardless of your distance from it's source (unlike mercury and most other pollutants where increasing distance reduces risk) is still being pumped into the environment, from the catalytic convertors, for example ? Why aren't government pumping cash into the catalytic convertor buisiness to help pay for the 'non CO2 catalyst' (in an amount relative to the supposed level of risk)
Gentlemen, you're clearly not going to answer my questions, because you feel you shouldn't have to, because you feel you have done enough just by accepting AGW theory. All I wonder is, are you doing enough just by arguing, pell mell, about what are comparatively petty things like financial cost, if the future of the planet really is at risk ?
Can we afford to think of this as a financial issue ?
Actually, your argument really did open my mind, CharlesM. I wasn't prepared for that. But your perspective is valid. Ultimately, I really think we will need incremental or sudden technology breakthroughs.
If the Envia Systems battery figures hold up, an 85kWh battery pack (same as largest in Tesla S) would cost about $11,000 and maybe the rest of the pack w/ markup would make that $20k (using Bob Lutz's cost figues for the Volt). You could put that in a Volt without the range extender ICE and its fancy torque converter/generator that shouldn't add more than another $15k or so (i.e., a Cruze with electric motor substituted for ICE and transmission). That could be a $40k EV car that goes 300 miles per charge.
If that's not enough range, a 48kWh version of that pack would be about $6000, same as Lutz claims the present 16kWh battery costs. So there's a potential Volt that has triple the electric range or over 100 miles pure EV before the range extender kicks in.
Lastly I would ask people who don't see much difference between a Volt and a Cruze to consider whether the difference between a BMW 3-series is really a 2:1 cost premium to a Cruze. I have a 5-series and I have a good idea where that comparison leads, except in the boy racer car mags which would conclude the opposite. You could also compare a $20k Cruze with $40k Buicks that aren't much different except for their options lists. At least the Volt saves a $1000 or so a year in gasoline. That should count for something.
fixitsan, I'm not going to bother with your sucker's game. You've made up your mind but pretend you're open minded to me proving things that can't be proven and which must meet only your own standards for truth. All of the scientific body of evidence hasn't yet convinced you, though I might be able to if I play with you! Nice little game.
I will just point out real quick that the '70s theory of a coming ice age was just a fringe theory like those you cling to now, even if Time magazine reported it. Global warming was already dominant and not a "newer theory." It had already been well established by real scientists for many decades.
Being a skeptic (with a "k") implies being on the fence. Some evidence is compelling, some not. They would be undecided. Climate skeptics like yourself are not skeptics. You've made up your mind, so why don't you man up to that?
Incentives are investments, not losses. The answer is they need to double down on incentives until production volumes, economies of scale, and technology improvements for these new tech vehicles level the playing field with fossil fuel vehicles, and this leveling is rapidly approaching. How many billions are spent on fossil fuel pollution-tied diseases and how much is spent increasingly in economic costs due to climate change? Ask the insurance industry what their losses have been for the unprecedented drought, tornadoes, wildfires and heat waves over the last few years.
See the Envia link below and the carmakers' roadmaps for how this cost reduction is already occurring at a relatively rapid pace, given the >100 years in which ICE cars have enjoyed continual evolution, and given the huge fossil fuel subsidies you people never acknowledge. Is the Prius finally a success in your eyes? It's only existed within the blink of the automobile era's eye.
I'd also point out that thanks to government incentives renewable energy for the electrical grid is on track to be cheaper than fossil fuel electrical power in the next few years. The fossil fuel-owned so-called "free market" would not have let that happen. Also see what Germany has done with progressing toward sustainability while we're still arguing over tar sand pipelines and listening to people who think we can drill our 20% world energy consumption out of our 4% of oil reserves.
I agree CharlesM, that is a difficult wall to overcome. Take the Chevy Volt. Even with a $7,500 tax credit and with GM selling the vehicle below cost, sales volume still isn't sufficient to bring down production costs. How long is the government and GM going to lose money on an idea that still isn't financially feasible in the market?
Well, I don't know whether to be amused or flattered. I came, I posted and I was argued with. I was just talking openly, wasn't trying to make a new argument, but merely find some facts. And i have to say I still didn't get any.
Let me see if I can make an argument then and we'll be able to shine some light onto all the points we all think make a great argument. but all I ask is that yiou try to remain emotionally ambivalent , forget the namecalling, it doesn't suit grown intelligent men one bit.
I am the same as you if you think that AGW theory is fact. That might be hard to believe, but read it again, because if you believe in AGW theory and I do not we are still the same, especially if you claim to be a practitioner of the scientific method. Allow me to explain.
The first position of the practitioner of the scientific method is scepticism. Now imagine that if you are now an AGW (theory) adopter and you are a practitioner of the scientific method, then there is no question at all that at one time you too were sceptical about the idea of AGW. Yoiu must have been, otherwise yoiu cannot claim to have used a scientific method.
Maybe you were alive with me in the late 1970's and can remember how we were facing entry into a little ice age in the not too distant future...and you and I were sitting together on a bus, on our way to work and I opened the newspaper and read that a new theory is suggesting global warming as a result of CO2 'pollution' is a terrible disaster in the making.
Well, as good sceptics we might look at one another and laugh, and tut, and say 'humph, not likely' because that is the privelege of the sceptic.
And then, for no reason which I can see, the next day we sit together again, and this time you are no longer a sceptic.
What are you now ? To me you are an AGW theory adopter. I'll refrain from using the term 'converted' or any other controversial name for use only by men below our standing.
All i ask is, despite you being able to make arguments where they do not exist, can yiou just tell me about yoiur eureka moment when yoiu went from being the sceptic to being the adopter of the theory as fact ? What is that vital piece of evidence that deniers, woops, I mean sceptics like you used to be (makes you an 'ex-denier', right ? ) don't seem to be in possession of ? What one thing made you go 'Wow, that just proves it, i must now stop being sceptical' ?
You see, my concern is that too much emphasis is put on things like Vostok ice core samples, as used by most AGW proponents, (not least Al Gore in Inconvenient Truth) and the graph against CO2 levels and temperature which apparently 'proves' that CO2 level rises cause temperature rises.
The only problem there is that the high Court in London  ruled that contrary to the 'great assertion' that the graph proves a connection between CO2 and temperature, actually it proves no less than CO2 levels lagging behind temperare changes, by a period of about 800 years.
Now, as reasonable sceptical men, we all can see that courts rarely concern themselves with the business of science, they often care little at all about science. However, what courts excel at, is finding proof. They look for truth and from truth they produce poof.
So again, since the highest court in my land has declared that the famed ice core sample graphs show that CO2 rises lag behind temperature rises by about 800 years, am I missing something else which shows the courts decision to be controversial. Are there ice core sample graphs to declare those used by the court to be false ?
So I ask you again , ex-sceptics (not ex-deniers, we're men, not kids so we should be emotionally ambivalent) What was the turning point for you personally when in yoiur role as a practitioner of the scientific method yoiu went from going 'no, no , no' to ' yes, absolutely' ?
I still wait with great eagerness for any 'proof' that rises in CO2 is likely to cause anything more than an increase in the growth rate of vegetation.
Why the drinks industry gets away with forcing 24g/L of waste industrial CO2 into every litre of carbonated drinks is beyond me, if it going to cause us so many problems ? if yoiu are non-sceptic, you could try answering that, if yoiu are going to keep a big secret and not tell me when you abandoned the scientific method position of sceptic, for that of AGW theory adopter as fact.
So, my equal men and practitioners of the scientific method. can you share with me the secret info ?
Tesla uses 18650 size cells, 18mm dia x 65mm long. Certainly they don't expect that cost structure to continue. The $40k pack was for the $110k Roadster. If nothing else, it's noted the packs are currently highly labor intensive. That's an obvious opportunity to cost reductions.
Another possible path using cheaper cells: http://enviasystems.com/
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
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